Wizards vs. Hawks NBA Free Picks

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 12:15 PM GMT

Wednesday, May. 13, 2015 12:15 PM GMT

Atlanta and Washington collide in game 5 of the Eastern Conference semis today. With NBA odds in full swing, here's a breakdown of this matchup complete with NBA picks.

Washington Wizards Huge Road Pups
The Eastern Conference series has been more competitive than NBA bettors initially predicted, largely down to the Wizards playing up to their lofty opponents. As it is, the series is finely poised on a 2-2 draw with game 5 set to get underway today in Atlanta. Naturally, the fifth seeds of the Eastern Conference Washington Wizards enter game 5 as the underdogs on the NBA betting odds board with the series shifting back to Atlanta. There are those NBA bettors that might consider their NBA odds a tad excessive though.

Matched at +290 to win outright and the whopping 8-point road pups against the spread, bookies are practically writing off the Wizards and we're not convinced there's good enough reason for them to do so in such a dramatic way. Let's not forget, going into Monday's game 4, the Wizards were up 2-1 in the series. There's also the small matter of the day's game itself, which was a narrow win by the Hawks and not the type of rout one would expect from a top seed perhaps.

To be fair,  game 4 saw a much better focused Atlanta Hawks take to court and put in a good account. But they weren't great and they still didn't have an easy time of it in the 106-101 win that saw them squeak the 4.5-point cover as the road faves.

Put another way, the Wizards were still very competitive against the Hawks and they had their chances too. Paul Pierce, who scored a three-pointer at the buzzer in game 3 to lift the Wizards to the victory, attempted another last-gasp three-pointer on Monday night that would have tied the game with less than ten seconds. He missed though and the Hawks clinched the dubious win.

 

Atlanta Hawks Massive Faves
Now that the Hawks have tied the series behind their best account yet against the Wizards, all seems to be forgiven. They are back in high favour across sports betting platforms, trading at a whopping -370 NBA odds to win outright and as the 8-point home chalk. The difference a game can makes is astounding at times.  

But is this NBA betting outlook really warranted? Fact is the Hawks only narrowly beat the Wizards on Monday night, never mind there were probably a few hearts that stopped beating for the briefest moment as Pierce hurled the three-point attempt to tie the game. Had he pulled it off, who knows really how the game would have ended if it went to overtime.

But we can't speculate about what might have been, only about what did actually happen. It's true that the Hawks did win and, thereby, levelled the series before heading back home to Atlanta. It's also obvious home advantage is going to be key in game 5 as they attempt to take the lead in the series for the first time. But therein lies the problem: the Hawks have yet to lead this series after four games.

They've been on the back foot right from the start and forced to keep up with the plucky Wizards from game to game. If that's not worrying, then what is. Certainly, it's enough to have us question their overwhelming NBA odds in game 5. This doesn't mean were questioning their favourable status rather its largesse. The form they've shown is hardly a ringing endorsement.

For more betting action, check out our Wednesday's NBA picks selected by our experts!

NBA Betting Verdict:
The Wizards were unlucky to lose game 4 at home, but they've still got plenty of fight in them to make a fist of it in game 5. The series is level, so there is all to play for yet. Everybody is banging on about the Hawks being back and up to their lofty standards and that's all well and grand. For our money, we're not convinced. As a result, we're backing the upset on our NBA picks and taking the Wizards as the 8-point road pups. We'd also suggest a small stake on the outright win by the Wizards at +300 NBA odds at Bet365. Why not. The series has been a lot closer than the odds makers would have us believe with these NBA betting lines. What's more, the pair have oscillated in the win column from game to game. If that NBA playoffs betting trend holds true, the Wizards are due a win in game 5.

NBA Picks: Wizards +8 at Pinnacle

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